Kern County Child Support Services has moved out of downtown Bakersfield to a location on Sillect Avenue.
The department’s director, Elizabeth Chavez says the move will streamline the customer service experience at the new location and make the department more efficient.
“I think the public, when they walk in, will see that it’s really tailored for service to them,” she said. “And it’s going to be a lot easier for them to come in and see us and process their cases, and be able to move forward to creating a better life for their children, which happens when we receive child support on a monthly basis.”
She said the department typically processes 97 customers per day for the 65,000 children involved in the department’s caseload.
This is the department’s first change of location after 20 years in downtown.
Their new location is 3701 N. Sillect Ave. Their former home had been 1300 18th St.
“It’s just a little bit more customer-service oriented,” Chavez said. “We’ve changed the look and the feel.”
The department officially opened its new doors Jan. 2, and is planning a grand opening ceremony for some time toward the end of February.
Chavez said the new office was selected for its accessibility. It is located near Highway 99 and Golden State Avenue and a bus stop is close by.
In many ways, she said, it will be easier for customers to get to the office than it had been to get to the downtown location.
She said there is also plenty of customer parking, countering a frequent complaint of the old location.
Although the department allowed customers access to a parking garage, Chavez said many did not know about it and struggled to find parking downtown.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to serve the public,” she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to establish ourselves.”
The new office will also feature an expanded self-service option for customers to check in and make payments. One area of the new building will also feature the opportunity for customers to seek employment.